Barring another Polar Vortex, Utah’s winter is typical. Cold, brisk, marvelously sunny, it keeps the air crystal clean. But, June, July, and August will heat things up. The weather cycles in Weber, Morgan, and Davis Counties want reliable and efficient HVAC comfort systems. What’s a homeowner to do this time of the year?
What’s in an HVAC system?
Even a properly running HVAC system adds up to a large piece of the household electric bill. Keeping it running smoothly maintains the energy savings. It is rather simple: if the system is not running easily, the struggle costs money. So, it makes good sense to anticipate the problems and prevent others.
#1 – Some fixes are routine:
- Start outside to be sure the condenser is not covered by winter debris like leaves. It needs room to breathe and take in the air needed to cool and circulate, so clean windblown trash, clippings, and leaves from inside and outside the outdoor cabinet unit.
- Filters need changing regularly because dirty filters will reduce the air flow and the system’s efficiency. Fiber glass filters are easily replaced, and electrostatic filters can be washed clean.
- In late spring, let the air conditioning run for 15-20 minutes to see if and how it is working.
- As the spring progresses, the thermostat needs some adjustment to new desired temperatures and schedules.
- HVAC systems work well when clean, but cleaning with hose, water, and/or power spray invites damage and expense.
- Drafts and leaks felt indoors during the winter will still be there in the summer unless they are “winterized” with caulk, tape, or insulation.
#2 – Some require a pro:
- State of the art thermostats require professional installation and programming for maximum value.
- Obstructions pan drain openings should be cleared.
- Some system filters and duct work require expert inspection.
- Motors need periodic lubrication and coils cleaned.
- Air flow is best measured with expert tools and gauges.
- Fan motors and blades are often worn and damaged and need repair.
- Controls – relays, capacitors, contactors, wiring, and connections – all need inspection and repair.
- Only professionals are trained in refrigerants, heat exchangers, and coils.
A professional certified Utah heating and air conditioning company has a wealth of knowledge to assist users in fixing these issues.
#3 – Reduce the total system load
The system load refers to the amount of heating and cooling used. The load is key to determining the sufficiency of the system and the efficiency of its performance. Reducing the overall load saves in big and small ways.
- Windows have ENERGY STAR ratings just like appliances, and they will help secure the house.
- Insulation losses its effectiveness over time. It should be checked and supplemented every three years.
- The seams in ductwork will crack and open over time. They should be checked and fixed at least annually.
- Lighting systems and overhead fans alter static temperature. Both contribute to the stratification of the air, and that can work to the advantage or disadvantage of the overall HVAC performance.
- Warm and cool air are affected by sunlight. This solar gain is most easily gained and controlled by the building’s orientation and the position of windows.
- Admitting the outdoor environment in will influence the HVAC performance. On clear Utah days with moderate temperatures, the fresh air will perk up the house while the HVAC system is turned off.
Early spring is time for the maintenance visit and, perhaps, signing that Maintenance Agreement for the future.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Gerald Jackson is a savvy home improvement diyer. It was a passion that was developed from a young age while working on home appliances alongside his father. When he’s not improving homes, Gerald enjoys playing basketball with his buddies and traveling.